Parenting Tip: Keep the Number for Poison Control Handy

Today was a milestone day… I had to call poison control for the first time in 5.5 years.

My 1 year old got a hold of an old bottle of CLR. The top had corroded enough that it leaks and he put it in his mouth. I was in the room cleaning, but not looking directly at him, so I didn’t know he had it. I’m not sure if he got any in his mouth or not.

I immediately took it away, threw it out and washed his hands.

Then I called poison control.

They were able to tell me what to do (give him a bath to get any off his body, brush his teeth, rinse his mouth out and give him some milk) over the phone. They took my phone number and will call me back in an hour to see how he’s doing.

I know that if I’d called my kids’ pediatrician, they’d want me to bring him in. I’d expose the kids to all kinds of germs because he *might* have been exposed and I wouldn’t have given him a bath, so he might have gotten skin burns. A $25 copay and plenty of judging later, and they’d probably just tell me to give him some milk to neutralize the acid.

The poison control line told me what to do and what to watch for before calling the doctor.

Poison control is a resource that is definitely underutilized. If your kids get into chemicals or if you just have a question about something poison related, call 1-800-222-1222 right away! You’ll be connected with your local poison control center for assistance.

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